Phoenix Middle School media assistant Jayne Rosandich said several students raised their eyebrows recently when she told them, "Miss Rosie says go home and clean out your room!"
"I said, 'Seriously, I want you to take two boxes to your room and fill them with stuff,' " she said. " 'You're in middle school now – get rid of all that baby stuff in your room.' "
The requested cleaning frenzy was intended to kick-start donations for the 22nd annual Phoenix Middle School Garage Sale.
"We have had tens of thousands of dollars generated by this program for technology and other items we need for the school," Rosandich said.
The garage sale will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 29 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 30 at the school, 2341 Snouffer Road.
Early admission at 8 a.m. Sept. 29 is available for a $5 fee.
Credit cards will be accepted at the sale.
The school will accept donations for the sale from Friday, Sept. 22, through Sept. 28.
Rosandich said she hopes people will clean out basements, garages and attics to donate unwanted but reusable items, such as furniture, toys, kitchen appliances, sporting goods, books and household items.
No clothing, shoes, mattresses, televisions or inoperable appliances will be accepted, however.
"People (who) wish to donate during school hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., are asked to check in with the office through the main entrance," Rosandich said. "At other times, please drive around to the back of the school and knock on the gym door."
She said a limited number of pickups could be arranged on the evenings of Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 by calling the school at 614-450-4100.
Receipts are available for people wanting to declare the donation on a tax return.
Principal Adham Schirg said the garage sale "has a rich tradition in our school community."
"Over the last 22 years, students, teachers, parents and community members have contributed to making this event a success," he said. "Every time I see the amount of community support we have for this event, I am amazed.
"Our students learn so much from this process, especially the idea of service and contributing to our school community. We are thankful for this event and the value it adds."
Rosandich said all proceeds from the sale improve 21st-century learning by providing funds to support technology and student-centered projects at the school.
She said this year's goal is $10,000.
"We made $6,500 last year, but our top take was at about $12,000," she said.
She said a number of alumni have volunteered.
"I've had quite a few former students come around and ask, "Miss Rosie, what can I do?' " she said. "This event brings our whole school community together. I had a grandma ask me if she could still volunteer, even though her grandchildren were no longer at the school."
Rosandich said the fastest-selling items are different each year.
"Sometimes the furniture sells like crazy, but some years it doesn't," she said. "The toys can be wiped out quickly, and we have had people donate outdoor furniture sets and outdoor play houses and other great items.
"I try to look at the retail price, then price it for about a quarter of that, depending on the shape it is in. Whatever doesn't sell we donate to area organizations."
She said the sale helps residents declutter and keeps items out of a landfill.
"Plus, kids learn to help and volunteer," she said.
Questions about the sale should be directed to Rosandich at firstname.lastname@example.org.